Challenger Main Battle Tank (UK)

Challenger Main Battle Tank (UK)

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Picture of a Challenger Tank

Picture of a Challenger Tank, taken by Peter Antill.

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Challenger Tank

Challenger 2

The Challenger 2 main battle tank was developed as a private venture to replace the previous Chieftain MBT in service with British Army. It is a further development of the Challenger MBT. The new main battle tank is significantly more capable than its predecessor. It entered service with the British Army in 1994. Currently the Challenger 2 is in service with United Kingdom (386) and Oman (38). Recently a couple of proposed modernization programs for the Challenger 2 tanks were proposed. However due to budget cuts British Army could completely retire its Challenger 2 fleet in the near future.

It is one of the most protected tanks in the world. This main battle tank provides a very high level of protection against direct fire weapons. The Challenger 2 uses Chobham composite armor of second generation. It is lighter than the original Chobham, but offers better protection. Tank's turret was redesigned. Explosive reactive armor kit can be fitted for improved protection. The Challenger 2 is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems. This MBT can be also be fitted with VIRSSS (Visual and Infra-Red Smoke Screening System).

The tank is fitted with a new L30E4 120 mm rifled gun. It is capable of firing a wide variety of standard NATO 120 mm tank munitions. This gun is loaded manually. Effective range of fire with armor-piercing round is over 3 000 m. The Challenger gun claims the longest-distance tank kill in history. During the Gulf War it defeated an Iraqi tank at a range of 4 km.

Secondary armament consists of two 7.62 mm machine guns. One of them is coaxially mounted with the main gun, while the other is placed on top of the roof.

Challenger 2 is fitted with a new fire control system. Some of its components are similar to the US M1A1 Abrams and French Leclerc MBTs. Its fire control system has a high hit probability against stationary and moving targets. This main battle tank has a battle management system similar to that, used on the M1A1 Abrams. Furthermore British tanks can interchange information with US tanks.

Vehicle has a crew of four, including commander, gunned, loader and driver.

The Challenger 2 is powered by a Perkins CV12 TCA turbocharged diesel engine, similar to that on the Challenger 1. This engine develops 1 200 horsepower. Though comparable Western MBTs - the M1A2 Abrams and Leopard 2A5 have more powerful engines, developing 1500 hp. The Challenger is famous for its mechanical reliability. Suspension has been improved, particularly a hydraulic track pre-tensioner was added. The Challenger used a hydropneumatic suspension instead of the previous Horstmann type syspension of the Challenger 1.

Despite an increase in weight the Challenger 2 has similar cross-country performance to the previous vehicle. Additional fuel tanks can be mounted at the rear of the hull for extended operational range. It can also be fitted with a dozer blade. It is worth mentioning that all Challenger 1 MBTs can be upgraded to the Challenger 2 standard.

Challenger 2E export variant with a number of improvements.

Trojan armored engineering vehicle.

Challenger 3 main battle tank was first unveiled in 2021. It is based on the modified hull of the Challenger 2. The tank is fitted with new turret and is armed with a new 120 mm smoothbore gun. Engine and suspension were upgraded. The new smoothbore gun can use the most advanced globally available ammunition. Protection has been improved. Overall the upgraded Challenger 3 is deadlier and better protected than the Challenger 2. A contract was signed to produce 148 of these new MBTs for the British Army. Initial operating capability is expected by 2027 and full operating capability is expected by 2030. This will allow to extend service lives of the Challenger 2 hulls up until 2040 and beyond.

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The UK Invented The First Tanks. Now It May Retire Them For Good

394963 06: The battle tank Challenger 2 of the 3rd Troop ''D'' Squadron of the Royal Dragoon Guards . [+] (RDG) ploughs through the sand September 25, 2001 north of Thumbrait, Oman. The squadron is taking part in exercise Saif Sareea II, a bi-lateral military exercise in Oman in which more than 20,000 troops have been deployed from Britain and Germany to train alongside Omani forces in a variety of roles. (Photo by Pete Bristo/British Army/Getty Images)

Over a century ago, as trench warfare imposed a seemingly perpetual blood-soaked stalemate in World War I, a commission in the United Kingdom made military history. It adapted technology from ‘Creeping Grip” treaded tractors imported from Chicago into armored war machines that could negotiate mud-soaked battlefields and trenches, seemingly impervious to bullets and shrapnel, and blast enemies with their own sponson-mounted cannons and machine guns.

These breakdown-prone, rhombus-shaped “land ships” are considered to be the world’s first tanks.

British tank in action, France, World War I, from L'Illustrazione Italiana, Year XLIV, No 50, . [+] December 16, 1917.

De Agostini via Getty Images

Today, the UK may make history again as an integrated review of defense and foreign policy mulls retiring the British Army’s fleet of Challenger 2 main battle tanks in favor of more funding for satellites and cyber-warfare. That could make the UK potentially the first major military power to give up on the main battle tank entirely.

The fate of the British Army’s armored fighting vehicles is linked to fundamental questions as to what role the UK should play in NATO and future military coalitions.

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Since 1990, the United Kingdom has progressively downsized its tank fleet to nearly one-quarter its former size. Today the British Army officially retains 227 Challengers 2s , but plans only to modernize 148.

These would be fielded in only two tank regiments (the Royal Lancers and Royal Tank Regiment) with 56 tanks each in the 3rd Mechanised Division, with the remainder set aside for training and reserve use. The Challengers fight alongside hundreds of 28-ton Warrior fighting vehicles used to transport infantry into battle and engage lighter vehicles and personnel targets with their 30-millimeter cannons.

A Warrior armoured fighting vehicle crew take shade from the searing heat of the Oman desert, where . [+] UK forces are taking part in a month-long exercise, Saif Sareea 3. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)

PA Images via Getty Images

With its heavy Chobham/Dorchester armor and unique 120-millimeter L30 rifled gun, the Challenger 2 and the preceding Challenger 1 were once considered slower but slightly better armored peers of the U.S. M1 Abrams tank. And for a good measures, the Challenger came equipped with their own tea boiler.

Challengers steam-rolled Iraqi tanks in wars in 1991 and 2003 with not a single one being lost to enemy fire. In the 1991 Gulf War, Challenger 1 were credited with destroying 300 Soviet-built tanks, including one knocked out from nearly 3 miles, the longest-range tank-on-tank kill in history. In 2003 , some Challenger 2s sustained over a dozen hits from anti-tank rockets without being knocked out.

An Iraqi Sentry Post that was booby trapped is blown up near a Challenger Tank as 40 Commando Royal . [+] Marines move into Abu Al Khasib, a suburb of Basra in southern Iraq. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)

PA Images via Getty Images

However, both the Challenger 2 and Warrior have not received the upgrades of their American and German peers, and now badly need them if they are to remain viable through 2035-2040. For the Challenger 2, that includes a new engine uprated from 1,200 to 1,500 horsepower, modern fire control systems, sensors and computers, and a more conventional 120-millimeter smoothbore gun that can use the same ammunition as the Abrams and German Leopard 2 tank.

The UK may award a contract to a BAE-Rheinmetall joint-venture, but the projected cost has risen from £400 million to £1.5 billion just as the British economy enters a new period of decline due to Brexit and the Covid pandemic.

This context has undoubtedly helped energize the opinion that the British Army would be better of doing away with the expense of both the shrinking Challenger and Warriors fleets and their upgrades entirely.

Broadly, the critique is that tanks are both too difficult to transport to the battlefield, and too vulnerable to modern guided anti-tank weapons.

Army chief Sir Mark Carlton Smith recently characterized tanks as a “sunset” capability versus “sunrise” technologies such as cyber and electronic warfare. Military historian Max Hastings argued in an editorial in the Sunday Times against feeling “sentimental” about a weapon of war he says is just as much past its prime as horse cavalry in the World Wars. He could point to the fact that the U.S. Marine Corps too is retiring its tank units despite the major contributions they made in prior conflicts.

However, the tank retirement concept is receiving push back from some senior officers, even from outside of the Army. Air Chief Marshal Stirrup told The Times described the cuts as “eviscerating” and “dressing up financial pressures as a capability source.” Another senior officer told The Week that a British Army without tanks would be seen as “not credible” by fellow NATO countries.

To be fair, defense spending cuts have drastically shrunk nearly every sector of the British military since the 2008 economic recession. It’s also uncertain whether the UK will be able to afford a next-generation stealth jet or airplanes for its second aircraft carrier.

Armored fighting vehicles remain much cheaper than jet fighters but are harder to employ. That’s because it’s very difficult to transport dozens of 70- to 80-ton vehicles to distant warzones and supply the gas-guzzling beasts with monstrous amounts of fuel. And tanks simply aren’t applicable to the kind of stand-off-range strikes and light-footprint special operations warfare Western militaries have favored in the Middle East and North Africa.

For low-intensity conflicts, lighter armored vehicles often bring adequate firepower to bear and are more practical in terms of cost and logistics. That said, NATO tank units have enjoyed some combat successes in deployments to Afghanistan and Bosnia.

HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN - MAY 19: British Soldiers from the B Squadron of The Light Dragoons . [+] Regiment ride their Scimitar tank in a location in the desert to conduct counter Taliban Operations on May 19, 2007 in Southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Nato troops operating in the south and in the province of Helmand are preparing for a new wave of the offensive after US-led Afghan troops killed the Taliban's top military commander Mullah Dadullah last week. (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

Still, critics of the tank argue the UK’s shrinking main battle tank fleet is a sensible sacrifice to free up funding for more readily useable forms of military power, such as F-35 stealth jets, anti-submarine frigates, lighter Ajax and Boxer armored vehicles, and especially more satellite, air defense and cyberwarfare units.

However, there is one arena where main battle tanks are pretty tough to replace: helping NATO hold Russia’s larger, tank-heavy army at bay in the Baltics. And that at a time when tensions between Europe and Russia, and particularly the UK and Russia, remain high for reasons ranging from election interference to a deadly botched assassination attempts.

Indeed, according to The Times the British military has been sounding out its European partners as to their attitude about such a change. Likely, they are less than thrilled.

Currently, Russian is estimated to field 2,700 tanks in active-duty units, including 760 in the area around the Baltic states. While Western tanks retain qualitative advantages over Russian armor and would benefit from better air support, the quantity disparity still risks growing too great—particularly as NATO cannot, by agreement with Russia, permanently deploy forces to the Baltics.

SALISBURY, ENGLAND - JULY 03: Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank during a training exercise on Salisbury . [+] Plain Training Area on July 03, 2020 in Salisbury, England. 5 RIFLES Battlegroup prepares for deployment on Op CABRIT in Estonia as part of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence later this year. 5 RIFLES Battlegroup is trialing a new concept of training or Operational Readiness Model (ORM) on behalf of The Field Army to ensure they are mission ready. Additionally, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, training methods have been adjusted with innovative measures introduced to ensure that training isn't compromised and expectations and operational outputs lowered. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

Currently, Challenger 2 tanks are deployed in the rotating Enhanced Forward Presence in Estonia. Should a conflict erupt in the Baltics, the roughly 130 NATO tanks rotating in the sector would face the unenviable task of attempting to delay an overwhelming assault long enough for air power and reinforcements to arrive.

King of the Battlefield No More?

Even without tanks, the UK would still retain a variety of armored fighting vehicles including forthcoming Boxer 8x8 wheeled personnel carriers, Scimitar and Ajax armored reconnaissance vehicles, and AS90 self-propelled howitzers. But these are not designed to engage in prolonged, close fights against enemy heavy mechanized forces.

The main battle tank is an apex predator of land warfare designed to combine high levels of protection, firepower and mobility to over-match potential adversaries, notably including enemy tanks. Tanks can provide survivable and cost-effective direct fire support in tough fights, spearhead offensives seeking to rapidly penetrate deep into enemy lines, and rapidly counter-attack such offensives by enemy mechanized forces.

GOLAN HEIGHTS, ISRAEL - 1973/10/17: Destroyed tank in the foreground. Soldiers in working tanks in . [+] the background during the Yom Kippur war. (Photo by Fred Ihrt/LightRocket via Getty Images)

LightRocket via Getty Images

Since the 1973 Yom Kippur War it has been fashionable to argue that guided anti-tank missiles render the tank obsolete. Most recently, analysts can point to conflicts in Lebanon, Syria and Yemen in which both older M60 Patton and Russian-built tanks, as well as more heavily armored Abrams, Merkava and Leopard 2 tanks suffered heavy losses to anti-tank missiles and rockets.

But, effective and affordable anti-tank weapons have existed nearly as long as the tank and inflicted significant losses—and yet did not prevent tanks from playing decisive roles in both World Wars, Arab-Israeli and Indo-Pakistani conflicts.

Indeed, starting in the 1980s tank defenses against missiles began improving radically thanks to technologies including composite armor, explosive-reactive armor bricks, and active protection systems that may decoy or even shoot down incoming projectiles. However, these innovations also contribute to the inflating cost and weight of main battle tanks.

The logistical problems inherent to bringing main battle tanks to the frontline haven’t change the fact that they remain highly in demand wherever there is a possibility of intense land warfare. And while NATO may hope to lean on its superior air power to neutralize more numerous mechanized forces, likely only limited air support could be provided in the early days of a conflict until enemy fighters and air defense units are suppressed.

A decision to retire the British tank fleet would essentially be an admission by London that it can no longer afford to a maintain a full spectrum of military capabilities, and would prefer to specialize in air-, naval- and electronic-warfare domains which it sees as more relevant in the 21 st century.

That may make sense given the poor economy of scale inherent to the UK’s shrinking tank fleet, but the risk remains that once institutional knowledge and capacity is shelved entirely, it can be difficult to reacquire if needed.

It’s been a long and bumpy ride for British tanks in the decades since they debuted on the battlefields of World War I. When the integrated review issues its report in November, we may soon find out if their era is about to come to an abrupt end.

UK Defence Forum

Lord Jim Senior Member Posts: 5497 Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15 Location:

Re: RBSL Challenger 3 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Post by Lord Jim » 04 Jun 2021, 17:48

Lord Jim Senior Member Posts: 5497 Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15 Location:

Re: RBSL Challenger 3 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Post by Lord Jim » 08 Jun 2021, 23:37

ArmChairCivvy Senior Member Posts: 15732 Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34 Location:

Re: RBSL Challenger 3 Main Battle Tank (British Army)

Post by ArmChairCivvy » 09 Jun 2021, 07:59

I'm sure at least for the new engine (spares can be pooled, if we again turn up in that part of the world).

I'm sure they could also get a 'good' stock of things that go 'bang'
- I mean for the rifled gun. at a good price

Usage in battles

In urban environments, the Challenger will struggle relative to the T-80B, M1 Abrams and Leopard 2A4 - it's large, heavy and sluggish which proves costly in close quarters or when engagements occur in open streets. While the Challenger's gun still proves effective, often opposition vehicles will achieve valuable positioning before a Challenger can, forcing the Challenger tanker to play defensively. However, playing carefully and avoiding obvious routes, the Challenger can be comfortably put to use in urban environments.

The Mk.3 performs very well in rural areas, where defilades and ditches that can be used for cover are far more readily available. The Challenger is still best played in hull-down defensive positions, clearing areas of maps before moving up, but a patient playstyle will be rewarded. Make use of the vehicle's good gun depression and competitive reload, utilising off-angles and hull-down positions. If a situation begins to degrade, make use of the Challenger's reasonably good reverse speed and reposition.

Pros and cons

  • Decent turret armour efficiency increased even more with proper hull down in slopes
  • Reasonably small breech protected by turret cheek's armour
  • Good HEAT and ATGM resistance on front/sides thanks to ERA and NERA elements
  • Good neutral steering and decent reverse speed provides a great boost from the slower Chieftains
  • Reasonably good reload, particularly for a 120 mm gun one of the most remarkable aspects of the latter British MBTs
  • Brand-new TOGS system provides easy target acquisition in day or night
  • Precise L11 gun with adequate penetration values support rounds available
  • Lacklustre sloped armour penetration, worst at high BR battles facing omni-present Leopard 2A6 or T-72B (1989) must aim for weak spots
  • The lower half of the turret cheeks are vulnerable to some higher-tier FIN rounds
  • Slower MBT than most of the vehicles it faces, albeit not by a huge margin
  • Hull is large and tall, very vulnerable to kinetic rounds or aerial attacks
  • Cannot shoot straight over its engine deck a notable disadvantage on urban engagements
  • Top-tier shells can easily penetrate Challenger's turret armour, even at range

British Army To Possess Most Lethal Tank In Europe

The Challenger 3 main battle tank. Image: MoD

The British Army will possess the most lethal tank in Europe when it receives a fleet of 148 Challenger 3 main battle tanks as part of an £800 million contract with Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land.

Based in Telford, the contract will create 200 jobs at Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL), including 130 engineers and 70 technicians, with a further 450 jobs to be established throughout the wider supply chain across the West Midlands, Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne and the Isle of Wight.

The new tank will carry additional high velocity ammunition able to travel at faster speeds with an increased range. Ammunition will also be programmed digitally from a new turret with a 120-millimetre smoothbore gun. This cutting-edge tank will also feature an upgraded engine with a new cooling system and suspension to improve accuracy when firing in transit.

A new automatic target detection and tracking system will be used to identify threats, whilst new thermal long-range cameras will be fitted as part of a day/night image system.

Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace said, “This represents a huge shift in the modernisation of our land forces through the increased lethality of Challenger 3. This pioneering new technology allows us to deliver immense warfighting capabilities in battlespaces filled with a range of enemy threats.

Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Chris Tickell, added, “The announcement of the Integrated Review has provided us with a huge amount of opportunity and left the Army in a good place. The integration of Challenger 3 is key to ensure our success and integration in the land domain, ensuring that we meet our international commitments and continue to protect the nation.”

As part of the Army’s commitments to adapt to meet future threats, Challenger 3 will be fully digitalised integrating information from all domains whilst being able to travel up to 60kph. The Challenger 3 tank is being developed to replace the current Challenger 2 tank which has been in service since 1998. Full Operating Capability for the tank is planned for 2030, with initial operating capability expected by 2027.

Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to check The Euro Weekly News for all your up-to-date local and international news stories.

British Army Royal Tank Regiment with Challenger 2 tanks will be deployed in Estonia

According to information released by the British army on June 7, 2021, the British Army Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) Battlegroup (BG) equipped with Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) has been preparing for a deployment to Estonia at the British Army’s Sennelager Training Centre in northern Germany.
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British Army Challenger 2 main battle tank. (Picture source British army)

Seven hundred and fifty soldiers are involved in the Operation Cabrit rehearsals ahead of the next British-led NATO Battlegroup to go to Estonia in September 2021.

The BG comprises of RTR’s Dreadnought Squadron, equipped with Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank, C Company of the Royal Welsh, equipped with Warrior armored infantry fighting vehicles in addition to elements of the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Royal Army Medical Corps and the Royal Logistic Corps.

The demanding exercises were an arduous mix of simulation, live-firing (day and night) and field training exercises involving armour, infantry, artillery, engineers and a whole range of supporting capabilities fixed together to develop the level of competencies, capabilities and integration.

The 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw set the conditions for the establishment of an enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to strengthen Euro-Atlantic security.

Operation Cabrit is the name of the UK operational deployment to Estonia where British troops are leading a multinational battlegroup as part of the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP).

UK Armed Forces have a leading role in NATO’s eFP in the Baltic States, in order to enhance Euro-Atlantic security, reassure our Allies and deter our adversaries.

The eFP in the Baltic States is a deployment of robust, multinational, combat-ready forces to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, on a persistent, rotational basis.
British personnel rotates on a continuous basis alongside Danish, French, and host nation Estonian forces.

The Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (MBT) is the backbone of the British Army and according to the Military Balance 2020, 227 Challenger 2 are still into service with the British Armed Forces. The British Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) is the oldest tank unit in the world. The regiment is equipped with Challenger 2 MBTs, the Scimitar tracked reconnaissance vehicles, and the Spartan tracked armored personnel carrier. In May 2021, the British government has announced a contract to upgrade the Challenger tanks to Challenger 3 standard.

The family of CVRT vehicles as the Scimitar and Spartan will be replaced by the Ajax, a new family of tracked armored vehicles, currently under development by the company General Dynamics for the British Army.

Challenger 1

In the late 80s the Chieftain main battle tank was considered out-dated. Its main drawbacks were poor mobility and insufficient armor protection. At the time Soviets were introducing improved tank types at a rapid pace and armor of Chieftain was vulnerable to modern Soviet anti-tank guns. The Challenger originated from Iranian order for improved model of Chieftain - the Shir 2 (Lion 2). It was the first British tank with a composite armor. The order was later cancelled due to Iranian revolution. However the project was taken over by the British MoD, design was further reworked and the tank became known as the Challenger. It entered service with the British Army in 1983. Production ceased in 1989. A total of 420 of these main battle tanks were built. In the 1990s, with the introduction of improved Challenger 2, the original Challenger was redesignated as the Challenger 1. The Challenger 1 was phased out of British Army service in 2000. Most of these main battle tanks were sold to Jordan where it is locally known as the Al Hussein.

The Challenger 1 is armed with a fully-stabilized British L11A5 120 mm rifled gun. It is a significantly improved version of the Chieftain's gun. It is extremely accurate, however this MBT was fitted with slow fire control system. A total of 52 rounds are carried for the main gun. Ammunition includes APDS-T, APFSDS-T, HESH, smoke and training rounds. All rounds are of separate loading type. Interestingly a 1986 British report stated that newest Challenger's anti-tank rounds stood a good chance of defeating Soviet T-64, but could not defeat the latest T-80. Still though the Challenger gun claims the longest-distance tank kill in history. During Gulf War it defeated an Iraqi tank at a range of 4 km. During the operation Desert Storm the Challenger 1 tank engaged enemy target at a range of 5 100 m.

There are also two 7.62 mm machine guns. One of them is mounted coaxially with the main gun, while another is mounted on the turret roof. A total of 4 000 rounds are carried for machine guns.

Protection of the Challenger 1 was much improved comparing with the previous Chieftain. It has a welded hull with Chobham composite armor, which is a combination of steel and ceramics. This armor provides a much higher level of protection, comparing to any monolithic steel armor. The Chobham armor was later adopted by American M1 Abrams. An add-on explosive reactive armor can be fitted. The tank is fitted with automatic fire suppression and NBC protection systems.

This combat vehicle has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

The Challenger 1 MBT is powered by a Rolls-Royce Condor CV12 TCA turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1 200 hp. It is worth mentioning though, that comparable Western tanks - the M1A1 Abrams and Leopard 2 had a more powerful engines, developing 1 500 hp. The engine and transmission are mounted in one module can be replaced in field conditions within 45 minutes. There is also an auxiliary power unit, which powers all systems, when the main engine is turned off. Vehicle has a hydropneumatic suspension system, which provided good cross-country performance. It is worth mentioning that the Challenger 1 was famous for its mechanical reliability. Additional fuel tanks can be mounted at the rear of the hull for extended operational range. The Challenger 1 can be fitted with a front-mounted dozer blade or mine clearing systems.

Challenger 2 improved version fitted with new turret and some other improvements. The new tank is significantly more capable than its predecessor. Its production commenced in the early 1990s. All Challenger 1 MBTs can be upgraded to Challenger 2 standard.

CRARRV or Challenger Armored Repair and Recovery Vehicle. It was developed in the mid 1980s. In 1985 a contract was signed to build 30 of these armored vehicles to support the Challenger tanks. Eventually a total of 74 of these armored vehicles were delivered.

Challenger Marksman SPAAG, fitted with Marksman air defense turret.

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Challenger I Main Battle Tank

The Challenger I design was originally planned for the Imperial Iranian Army and was due to be named the Shir (Lion) I. With the fall of the Shah (King) in 1979, the vehicle was renamed Challenger and adopted by the British Army to replace Chieftain.

This is one of the original Challenger prototypes, number V3A2. It was used to test Hydrogas Suspension as a replacement for spring suspension systems during the early part of Challenger's development. It had a driver training module mounted on top from which the vehicle was driven. The turret for this vehicle was fitted to provide ballast for testing the suspension system.

( photo caption )
V3A2 fitted with turret for Hydrogas Suspension suspension trials

Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Military.

Location. 50° 41.661′ N, 2° 14.567′ W. Marker is in Bovington, England, in Dorset. Marker can be reached from the intersection of King George V Road and Linsay Road, on the left when traveling south. Located at The Tank Museum. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bovington, England BH20 6JG, United Kingdom. Touch for directions.

Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Household Cavalry and Royal Armoured Corps Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker) The Lawrence of Arabia Trail (within shouting distance of

this marker) Royal Tank Regiment Memorial Statue (within shouting distance of this marker) The Kuwait Arena (within shouting distance of this marker) FV603B Armoured Personnel Carrier (about 120 meters away, measured in a direct line) Tank Infantry Mark IV (about 120 meters away) M4A1 Medium Tank Grizzly (about 180 meters away) Centurion Mark 12 (about 210 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bovington.

Also see . . .
1. The Tank Museum. (Submitted on September 21, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
2. The Tank Museum on Wikipedia. (Submitted on September 21, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)

British Challenger 2 Tank

Today, the United Kingdom has a new state-of-art tank. Challenger 2 is the successor of the famous Challenger tank. The tank designation is the FV4034 Challenger 2 (MOD designation “CR2”). Challenger 2 is a third generation British main battle tank (MBT). The tank is currently in service with the armies of the United Kingdom and Oman. It was designed and built by the British company Vickers Defence Systems (now known as BAE Systems Land & Armaments).

A Challenger 2 tank patrolling outside Basra, Iraq, during Operation Telic (Photo: Wiki)

Production began in 1993 and the Challenger 2 tanks were delivered in July 1994, replacing the Challenger 1. The tank entered service with the British Army in 1998, with the last delivered in 2002. It is expected to remain in service until 2035. It is considered as one of the best tanks in the world.

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